If you love to ride, Squamish has had a dream winter.
One snowfall, not an outrageous amount of rain, and some unbelievably mild temps. My riding has been largely uninterrupted, and my drivetrain is showing the wear of over 12 months of continuous pedaling.
NOTE: SORCA is having its opening season Super Toonie on the 11th, so if you’re planning to ride Squamish, check the SORCA site for race times and course location. It will be busy.
On the north end starting at Cat Lake, favorites like Cheshire Cat and Section 57 are open again after an early winter closure, and are both riding really, really well. Cheshire Kitten and White Rabbit will get you a little further south to the trail network at Alice Lake.
Alice Lake: The Spar Tree (aka 50 Shades…) climb is in great shape so you can access a ton of dynamite black stuff up top. Credit Line is in nice shape, and The Corners are rippin too, however the new lower section has been really messy and wet in places so heads up! Rupert has a new alternate line called “Tazer’s”. Watch for an easy-to-miss fork on the rider’s right shortly after you complete the entry climb. It’s well built and features a giant ride-through doghouse! The guys did a great job, right down to splitting their own cedar shingles on site. This feature is also meant to honor our four legged friends who have gone on to the Great Big Dog Park in the Sky. If you’re inclined to bring an old set of dog tags and hang them there in your best friend’s memory, the builders welcome and indeed encourage the gesture. Also, a reminder that due to its aspect Rupert holds a LOT of moisture, and is often very muddy several days after a rainfall when other trails are mostly dry and tacky. Please keep that in mind and give this gem the love it deserves! Finally, Matt Parker has been gently tweaking Wonderland and there are plans to give it more attention again this year. How sweet it is!
The great thing about the University area is its primarily west facing aspect, so most of the trails have really been primo lately. And, some good news: plans to put a new logging road up Skookum seem to be on the back burner (for now anyway), so if you’re inclined to do some more climbing after you come off the Legacy Climb, better ride across and hit it now! Though there has been some sadness due to the loss (logging) of the entrance to Fred, you can still find your way in and ride the bulk of Fred and then from there you’d be crazy not to connect with one of Squamish’s all-time greats: Word of Mouth. Or, do a hot lap on Half Nelson and Angry Midget, or hit Recycle and then drop into the new and improved Pseudotsuga. SORCA has opened up the wallet and has had lower Pseudotsuga rebuilt so you definitely want to give that a taste. One thing that’s interesting to note is that with the increased popularity of the University area (parking is becoming an issue folks), old faves that are a little further out like The Plunge, Hoods in the Woods and Somewhere Over There can be really quiet on a busy weekend… and they are all so worth it!
South Squamish is the often forgotten little brother, but there’s some great stuff there too. Far Side/Farther Side, Sweeter the Barry, Meet Your Maker, Spencer’s Big Gay Ride, Seven Stitches, The Graduate, Three Virgins and more. Generally more blue than black and can be tougher to put a loop together without riding something twice, but still fun, fast, and definitely not busy. This is a great area for an under 2 hour ride or better yet: something fairly casual before throwing back a well-deserved brewski!
And if you’re looking to get around Squamish for the first time, don’t forget to pick up a copy of the newly published Squamish Mountain Bike Trail Guide hitting the shelves next week and available online. Part of the proceeds from the sale of the book go back directly to SORCA’s Trail Fund!